Athenis vivebant Theseus eiusque pater, rex Aegeus. Illo tempore cives regi insulae Cretae poenas dabant: septem pueros et eundem numerum puellarum ad eum mittebant. Hae quattuordecim victimae Minotauro suas vias dabant. Suo patri Theseus dixit, â€œHunc malum morem tolerare non possum! Ego ipse Minotaurum non timeo. Istum inveniam et, si potero, meis viribus vincam. Dis meam fortunam committo. Alba vela videbis, o mi pater, si mortem fugiam.â€ Itaque Theseus se cum aliis victimis iunxit et trans mare ad Cretam navigavit. Ibi suo labore Minotarum superare et arte Ariadnae, suae amicae, fugere poterat.
Aegeus suum filium in scopulo diu expectaverat; nunc navem ipsam sui filii videre poterat. Sed vela nigra, non alba sunt! Stultus Theseus suum consilium memoria non tenuerat; vela non mutaverat. Miser Aegeus sine mora se iecit in mare â€œAegaeum.â€
Theseus and his father, King Aegeus, lived in Athens. At that time citizens paid a penalty to the king of the island of Crete: seven boys and the same number of girls were sent to him. These fourteen victims offered themselves to the Minotaur. Theseus said to his father, â€œI can not tolerate this evil custom! I myself am not afraid of the Minotaur. I will find that thing and, if I can, I will conquer it by my own strength. I entrust my fortune to the gods. You will see white sails, O my father, if I will avoid death.â€ And so Theseus joined himself with the other victims and sailed across the sea to Crete. There he overcame the Minotaur by his own effort and by the skill of Adriadne, his friend, was able to flee.
Aegeus had long been watching for his son on the cliff; now he had been able to see the ship itself of his son. But the sails were black, not white! Foolish Theseus had not held his plan by memory; he had not changed the sails. Wretched Aegeus hurled himself into the â€œAegeanâ€ sea.